Enjoy this Q&A with Serena Zanatta of Cantina Pizzolato, recapping their successful 2018 Organic Italian wine harvest in Veneto, Italy.
What were the 2018 Italian organic wine harvest dates? Was this later or earlier than usual?
In general, all over the Veneto region, the early harvest of grapes (organic Chardonnay and organic Pinot Grigio) began the second week of August, an advance of about a week compared to 2017. We harvested the first organic Glera grapes, for producing Certified Organic Pizzolato NSA Prosecco DOC without added sulfites, in the last days of August: these grapes were selected and harvested by hand and were healthy with an excellent level of acidity. During the first weeks of September, we continued with gentle mechanical harvest of Glera grapes for sparkling Organically Grown Pizzolato Fields Prosecco and DOC sparkling wine.
From September 20, the red-berry organic Merlot and organic Cabernet varieties followed for the production of wines without sulfites. Our harvest will end in October or early November with the harvest of organic Raboso grapes. We can therefore confirm that although the budding was earlier compared to previous years, the season has evolved normally and the beautiful days of September allowed us to declare that 2018 will be a harvest to remember.
DATES OF HARVEST
August 16th : Organic Pinot Grigio Harvest
August 20th : Organic Moscato Harvest
August 29th : Organic Chardonnay Harvest
August 30th : Organic Manzoni Bianco Harvest
31st August- 22nd September: Organic Glera Harvest
From October 30th: Organic Raboso Harvest
What role did weather play in this year’s Italian organic wine harvest?
During the autumn, before the vines went dormant, the vines were able to create a good water reserve, later favored by mild temperatures and rains interspersed during the flowering period, in the months of May and June. This allowed an superior fruit setting.
The hot and very sunny summer allowed an excellent growth and ripening of the bunches. On average, it was a rainy season.
The phenological phases (budding, flowering and setting) had a regular trend, thus producing a high number of bunches with a decidedly higher weight compared to last year, due to the enlargement of the berries. Surely the reason why the vintage 2018 will be remembered is the high quantity of grapes related to each of our vineyards, mainly due to the greater fertility of the plant’s buds, among its most favorable life cycles. One the main stars of this year’s harvest is certainly Glera, the Organic Prosecco grape, that, this year, has a consistent weight and very golden berries.
What can we expect from the resulting wines?
The large quantities of white grapes have an excellent acidity and we expect to obtain a fresh, fragrant, harmonious, and balanced organic Pinot Grigio and organic Chardonnay. As for the Moscato, the hot summer and ample sun has allowed the perfect maturation of its grapes. The grapes showed a very bright intense yellow, ripe and fragrant. Very good, sweet even to taste the grapes off the vine. We are getting a very fragrant and high quality organic Moscato.
The bunches of organic Merlot and organic Cabernet are excellent: a sunny September allowed us to ensure a perfect grape maturation and the vinification of excellent red wines for the production without added sulfites.
Did anything unusual, surprising or wonderful happen during this year’s Italian organic wine harvest?
Thanks to frequent rains, it was not necessary to resort to irrigation.
Pizzolato wines are Made with 100% Organically Grown Grapes, and some are USDA Certified Organic with No Sulfites Added. Pizzolato wines are Certified Vegan by the Vegan Society of the UK, and Non-GMO Project Verified.